Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mint Chocolate Delights

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
I bought a bag of Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels when they were on sale around Christmas time and they came with this recipe. I kept them in my freezer and decided to pull them out last night as my son and I were spending some one on one time together. Of course, what are we going to do? Bake treats! It was between these and Nummy Bars. He chose these and I must say, I was a little skeptical. But, they turned out nice. So nice that my prego self has eaten WAY too many since last night :)

2 C all purpose flour
2/3 C Baking Cocoa (Of course it calls for Nestle but I use Saco's Premium Cocoa.)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C (2 Sticks) butter softened
2/3 C granulated sugar
2/3 C packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla 
2 large eggs
1 2/3 C (10 oz. pkg) Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels

Preheat oven to 325
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl.  Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in morsels.  Drop by well-rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 11-13 min. or until cookies are puffed and centers are set.  Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

I baked one batch of this at the 325 like the recipe said and ended up baking them for more like 15 minutes.  I decided I couldn't wait that long next time so I changed the temp. to 350 and baked for about 11-13 min. like the original time should have been.  When pulling these cookies out, the centers are NOT set and the outside and top edges are just getting a little crispy.  Let them cook and they will turn out just fine.  YUM! 

Apple Pancakes

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
Tired of the same old plain pancakes? Yeah, me too sometimes. Well, here is a different type you can try. My husband's family introduced me to these and I thought they were weird. Who puts apples in their pancakes, and who puts powdered sugar on their pancakes?! Well, try them and you will like them. I know I do!

Apple Pancakes:
2 C. flour
2 Tbs. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 well beaten egg yolks
2 C. milk
2 Tbs butter melted
1 Apple chopped into small pieces
2 beaten egg whites

Add dry ingredients first. Then add the yolk and milk. Next, add the melted butter and apples. Make sure everything is stirred well. Then FOLD in egg whites. Do not completely mix in. The egg whites make the pancakes light and airy like they do in homemade waffles too. To make these a little healthier, add 1 C. whole wheat flour, 1 C. white flour. Top with butter and powdered sugar, and pair with a smoothie for a great breakfast!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Orzo With Parmesean and Basil

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
If you need a great side dish, this is it. I get tired of potatoes, rice and noodles, so this is a different thing that you don't normally have. At least we don't in our house. Another good one is couscous. Anyway... back to Orzo pasta. It looks a little like a flat piece of rice. I am sure you can eat it many ways, but this is what I have done a couple of times and it turns out great. And the great thing, it is really easy too!  Hope you like it!

From Allrecipes

Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons butter ( I do a little less)
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I only had shredded Italian cheese and this turned out great!)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (It tastes better with fresh, but in a pinch, dried can be used.  I only use about 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 tsp dried basil)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (Only for garnish)


  1. Melt butter in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo and saute until lightly browned.
  2. Stir in chicken stock and bring to boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 - 20 minutes.
  3. Mix in Parmesan cheese and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to shallow bowl. Garnish with basil sprigs.
Saturday, July 10, 2010

Banana Pudding... the best!

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
My mom has a recipe for this really great banana pudding. Not just your every day mix up a box of banana pudding and that's it. This is WAY better! Just know that this is not something to eat if you are counting calories. But it is delicious! Thanks for the recipe Mom!

1 large box (can't remember the actual size!) instant vanilla pudding
3 C. cold milk
3/4 tub of cool whip
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 ripe bananas
1 box nilla wafers

-Whisk the pudding with 3 cups cold milk for a couple minutes.
-Then add the can of sweetened condensed milk and stir.
-Put in fridge to set up for about 5-10 min.
-In a 9x13 cake pan, place nilla wafers in rows to fill bottom of pan.
-Cover with sliced bananas (Do not use green bananas and don't use really brown bananas. Just in between in best!)
-Fold cool whip (about 3/4- the whole tub) into pudding mixture.
-Cover cookie and banana layers with pudding mix and repeat until your pudding is gone. Serve cold.


PS My Mom says go with the name brand on everything for this recipe. I didn't go with name brand and it ended up delicious, but not as sweet. Mom says go with THE Nilla Wafers, Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk, and regular Cool Whip (I used Lite). Apparently this gives the best version possible.
Thursday, July 8, 2010

Spaghetti Sauce recipe

Posted in , , by blkris | Edit
I have tried a couple of recipes to find a really great spaghetti sauce recipe.  I have also tried just about every bottle of sauce in the store.  The best one we found was Newman's Own Sockarooni sauce.  Pretty good in our book.  However, my husband and I kept wanting a more fresh, homemade taste.  I went to a little cooking class our church was putting on and they taught how to make your own sauce.  I took bits and pieces from that as well as from this website and put my own together.  Turns out different every time, but still very good.

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 3/4-1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 medium green bell pepper, chopped 
  • 3/4 medium red bell pepper, chopped 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt (This sounds like a lot, but with all the other ingredients you have, it turns out about right.  I use more like 1/2-3/4 Tbs at first and salt to taste at the table)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced or crushed tomatoes - (use one Italian stewed tomatoes and one plain tomatoes.  It adds more flavor.  Or if you have lots of tomatoes from your garden, I have used 3 big fresh tomatoes ground up in a blender)
  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil; sauté onions, peppers and garlic in the oil until tender. Add salt, pepper, tomato paste, tomatoes, and oregano. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese before serving or serve cheese separately. Serve with hot cooked and drained spaghetti.   Serves 6 to 8. 
Meat version: Sauté 1/2 pound of lean ground beef  (we use ground turkey and you can't tell the          
difference!) with the onions, peppers and garlic until browned. Proceed with recipe.

Traditional Chicken Parmigiana

Posted in , by blkris | Edit
Being prego this third time has thrown me through a loop for food.  I do not remember having this many food aversions with the other two nor the lack of wanting to eat (although I have to or I will be sick... hmm Catch 22?).   Sweets and steaks ALWAYS sound good to me, but who can live off of that and be healthy?  Not me.  So, my sweet family has put up with me lately with my finicky taste buds.  When I get the urge to cook a real meal, I just go for it, even if it means having dinner at 7:00 (which I what I did the other night when I made this meal).  The picture on Pioneer Woman's website looked delicious so that is why I made it.  And alas, I was so hungry by the time the food was made, I did not take my own picture.  Sorry! I thought it was good but will make a few changes next time.  Hope it works for you and satisfies your cravings! 

(My comments are in pink)

Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 45 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 6
  • 4 whole (up To 6) Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Trimmed And Pounded Flat (I used two thick chicken breasts and it was enough to feed two adults and two kids for dinner and lunch the next day)
  • ½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • ½ cups Olive Oil ( I didn't use this much.  Just drizzled some in the pan when cooking)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped ( I only used half of an onion)
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ¾ cups Wine (white Or Red Is Fine) (I used white cooking wine and only used a little over 1/4 C. and thought it had a rich wine flavor... then again my tastebuds are weird so use to your liking!)
  • 3 cans (14.5 Oz.) Crushed Tomatoes (With my 2 thick chicken breasts, I used 2 cans crushed tomatoes.  Wish I would have used one can of Italian tomatoes though to give it a little more flavor)
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • ¼ cubes Chopped Fresh Parsley ( I used dried and realized it did not have the flavor I needed.  Will use fresh next time!)
  • 1 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 pound Thin Linguine
Preparation Instructions
Mix flour, salt, and pepper together on a large plate.
Dredge flattened chicken breasts in flour mixture. Set aside.
At this time, you can start a pot of water for your pasta. Cook linguine until al dente.
Heat olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted and oil/butter mixture is hot, fry chicken breasts until nice and golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Remove chicken breasts from the skillet and keep warm.
Without cleaning skillet, add onions and garlic and gently stir for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, getting all the flavorful bits off the bottom. Allow wine to cook down until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Pour in crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add sugar and more salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. Toward the end of cooking time, add chopped parsley and give sauce a final stir.
Carefully lay chicken breasts on top of the sauce and completely cover them in grated Parmesan. Place lid on skillet and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer until cheese is melted and chicken is thoroughly heated. Add more cheese to taste.
Place cooked noodles on a plate and cover with sauce. Place chicken breast on top and sprinkle with more parsley. Serve immediately.